Holle Hoffmann/ Moritz Klein
So we’re at home most of the time now. Making the best of it – like pretty things of paper: pinwheels, gliders, drawings. Open all windows and the balcony door: the paper comes alive. On it we fly out, into the open.
A different life has its place. But it’s a random selection, even the cardinal direction is not essential. Denmark or Switzerland: the wind will straighten the flag, then we’ll know.
The German text is a free adaptation of some lines from a poem by Thomas Hardy: ‘And the children who ramble through here / conceive that there never has been / a time where no tall trees grew here’
I first met him at the vending machine in the hall. He was floating. He had submitted his doctoral thesis, now he waited, suspending the future: start to work in some hospital, climb the ladder, grow old. Maybe better to go abroad, overseas, to a developing country? Summer came, we went for walks in the woods around the campus. It’s been almost a year now, he said. Last summer he had spent much of his time out by the lake. His thesis he claimed to have puzzled out completely in his head while swimming on his back, looking at the blue sky, his shining belly mirrored by the white underparts of the swallows up in the air.
I stood on the balcony of my hotel room and watched the montane forest burn. An enormous crackling that was the pines going up into flames filled the air. During the past days, the scent of these same trees had been so strong one just had to surrender.
In a minecart I rode through Canada. Out of the wilderness rose Disney Castle, the last railway station. Then came a narrow tunnel, I crawled toward a green brightness. I was standing in the rainforest. Snakes fell on me from the trees. Back through the tube I managed to out-crawl them, but one snake stuck with me. On the carpet in my parents' living room I tried to stuff it into itself, but it just didn't work, it kept unrolling, again and again. My father pushed me aside, took the snake's tail, put it into its mouth and with one quick flap on the head stapled the jaws to the tail. Thus, the snake had become my swimming ring. That made me angry, so I tossed the TV at my father. Afterwards there was a sentence in my head, verbatim: ‘Being in a place at a time of day when you normally would never be there is what makes the feeling of vacation.’
Traveling frees the mind. Let it wander! ‘Was Donald Duck ever in the navy? Or where else would he have gotten his sailor suit? He sometimes worked in a margarine factory that belonged to Uncle Scrooge, I recall. From marine work to margarine work ... I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! ...’
First the winds drove her near holy Cythera, and from there she came to Cyprus, where she emerged. — Holle Hoffmann/ Moritz Klein